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Scene I.-Northampton. A Room in the Castle.
Enter Hubert and twc Attendants.
Within the arras : when I strike my foot Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth, i Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate And bind the boy which you shall find with me He will awake my mercy, which lies dead: l'ast to the chair. Be heedful: hence, and watch. Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. [1siile. 1st Alt. I hope your warrant will bear out the | Arth. Are you sick, Hubert ? you look pale deed.
to-day. IIub. Uncleanly scruples! Fear not you: look | In sooth I would you were a little sick, to't.
[Exeunt Attendants. That I might sit all night and watch with you: Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you. ! I warrant I love you more than you do me.
Hub. His words do take possession of my Enter Arthur.
bosom.Arlh. Good morrow, Hubert.
Read here, young Arthur. [Shewing a paper. Hub. Good morrow, little prince.
How now, foolish rheum! [Aside. Arth. As little prince (having so great a title | Turning dispiteous torture out of door ! To be more prince) as may be.-You are sad. I must be brief; lest resolution drop Hub. Indeed I have been merrier.
Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears.Arth. Mercy on me!
Can you not read it; is it not fair writ? Methinks nobody should be sad but I:
Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect ! Yet I remember, when I was in France, Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes? Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Hub. Young boy, I must. Only for wantonness. By my christendom, Arth. And will you ? So I were out of prison and kept sheep,
And I will. I should be as merry as the day is long :
Arth. Have you the heart? When your head And so I would be here, but that I doubt
did but ache, My uncle practises more harm to me:
I knit my handkerchief about your brows He is afraid of me, and I of him.
(The best I had, a princess wrought it me), Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son ?
And I did never ask it you again : No, indeed is 't not: and I would to heaven And with my hand at midnight held your head I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert. ! And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon cheered up the heavy time: And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you: Saving, "What lack you?" and, “Where lies | But you at your sick service had a prince. your grief?"
Nay, you may think my love was crafty love, Or, “What good love may I perform for you ?" | And call it cunning : do an if you will: Many a poor man's son would have lain still, If heaven be pleased that you must use me ill,
Why then you must.-Will you put out mine eyes? | Nay, after that, consume away in rust,
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammered iron ?
An if an angel should have come to me, And with hot irons must I burn them out. And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,
Arth. Ah, none but in this iron age would do it! I would not have believed him: no tongue but Hubert's. The iron of itself, though heat red-hot,
Hub. Come forth.
[Stamps. Approaching near these cyes, would drink my tears, And quench his fiery indignation
Re-enter Attendants, with cords, irons, &c. Even in the matter of mine innocence : . Do as I bid you.
Arth. O save me, Hubert, save me! My eyes That mercy which fierce fire and iron extends ; are out
Creatures of note for mercy-lacking uses. Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men. Hub. Well, see to live: I will not touch third Ilub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
eyes Arth. Alas, what need you be so boisterdus For all the treasure that thine uncle owes. rough?
Yet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy, I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still. With this same very iron to burn them out. For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound ! | Arth. O now you look like Hubert! all this while Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away, You were disguised. And I will sit as quiet as a lamb:
lub. Peace: no more. Adieu : I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word, Your uncle must not know but you are dead : Nor look upon the iron angerly.
I'll fill these doggéd spies with false reports. Thrust but these men away, and I 'll forgive you, | And, pretty child, sleep doubtless and secure Whatever torment you do put me to.
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world, Hub, Go, stand within : let me alone with him. Will not offend thee. Ist Alt. I am best pleased to be from such a | Arth. O heaven! I thank you, Hubert. deed.
(Exeunt Attendants. I Hub. Silence; no more. Go closely in with me: Arth. Alas, I then have chid away my friend ! Much danger do I undergo for thee. (Exeunt, He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart. Let him come back, that his compassion may Give life to yours.
Hub. Come, boy, prepare yourself. Scene II.--The same. A Room of State in Arth. Is there no remedy?
the Palace. Hub. None, but to lose your eyes. Arth. O heaven! that there were but a mole
Enter King Joun, crowned ; Pembroke, Salisin yours,
BURY, and other Lords. The King takes his A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair,
Slate. Any annoyance in that precious sense!
K. John. Here once again we sit, once again Then, feeling what small things are boisterous
And looked upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes. Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.
Pem. This once again, but that your highness Hub. Is this your promise ? go to, hold your ! pleased,
Was once superfluous: you were crowned before, Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues And that high royalty was ne'er plucked off; Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes. The faiths of men ne'er stained with revolt; Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert! Fresh expectation troubled not the land, Or Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue, With any longed-for change, or better state. So I may keep mine eyes : O spare mine eyes; Sal. Therefore, to be possessed with double Though to no use but still to look on you!
pomp, Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold,
To guard a title that was rich before, And would not harm me!
To gild refinéd gold, to paint the lily, Hub. I can heat it, boy.
To throw a perfume on the violet, Arth. No, in good sooth : the fire is dead with : To smooth the ice, or add another hue grief,
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light Being create for comfort, to be used
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, In undeserved extremes. See else yourself: Is wasteful and ridiculous excess. There is no malice in this burning coal:
Pem. But that your royal pleasure must be done, The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out, This act is as an ancient tale new told; And strewed repentant ashes on his head. And, in the last repeating, troublesome,
Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy. | Being urgéd at a time unseasonable.
Arth. And if you do, you will but make it b'ush Sal. In this, the antique and well-noted face And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert: Of plain old form is much disfigured : Nay, it perchance will sparkle in your eyes And, like a shifted wind unto a sail, And, like a dog that is compelled to fight, It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about; Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on. Startles and frights consideration ; All things that you should use to do me wrong Makes sound opinion sick, and truth suspected, Deny their office: only you do lack
For putting on so new a fashioned robe.
Pem. When workinen strive to do better than Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set:
His passion is so ripe it needs must break.
K. John. We cannot hold mortality's strong Discredit more, in hiding of the fault,
hand. Than did the fault before it was so patched. Good lords, although my will to give is living, Sal. To this effect, before you were new crowned,
The suit which you demand is gone and dead : We breathed our counsel : but it pleased your
He tells us, Arthur is deceased to-night. highness
Sal. Indeed we feared his sickness was past To overbear it: and we are all well pleased;
cure. Since all and every part of what we would
Pem. Indeed we heard how near his death he
This must be answered either here or hence.
Sal. It is apparent foul-play; and 't is sliame
Pem. Stay yet, Lord Salisbury : I'll go with
That blood which owed the breadth of all this isle,
To all our sorrows, and ere long, I doubt.
Enter a Messenger.
That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks?
So foul a sky clears not without a storm :
Was levied in the body of a land !
The copy of your speed is learned by them:
K. John. O, where hath our intelligence been He shewed his warrant to a friend of mine.
drunk: The image of a wicked heinous fault
Where hath it slept? Where is my mother's care,
That such an army could be drawn in France,
Mess. My liege, her ear
Is stopped with dust: the first of April died
The lady Constance in a frenzy died
Three days before: but this from rumour's tongue K. John. Nay, but make haste: the better Tidly heard: if true or false I know not.
foot before. K. John.Withhold thy speed, dreadful occasion! o, let me have no subject enemies, O make a league with me till I have pleased When adverse foreigners affright my towns My discontented peers!—What! mother dead ? With dreadful pomp of stout irrvasion How wildly then walks my estate in France ! Be Mercury; set feathers to thy heels; Under whose conduct came those powers of France And fly like thought from them to me again. That thou for truth giv'st out are landed here? Bast. The spirit of the time shall teach me Mess. Under the Dauphin.
K. John. Spoke like a spriteful noble gentleEnter the Bastard and Peter of Pomfret.
man. K. John. Thou hast made me giddy Go after bim ; for he perhaps shall need With these ill tidings.- Now, what says the world Some messenger betwixt me and the peers : To your proceedings? Do not seek to stuff And be thou he. My head with more ill news, for it is full.
Mess. With all my heart, my liege. [Exit. Bast. But if you be afeard to hear the worst, K. John. My mother dead! Then let the worst, unheard, fall on your head. K. John. Bear with me, cousin ; for I was
Re-enter Hubert. amazed
Hub. My lord, they say five moons were seen Under the tide: but now I breathe again
tv-night: Aloft the flood, and can give audience
Four fixed; and the fifth did whirl about
The other four, in wondrous motion.
IIub Old men and beldams in the streets
Young Arthur's death is common in their mouths Possessed with rumours, full of idle dreams; And when they talk of him they shake their heads, Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear. And whisper one another in the ear; And here's a prophet, that I brought with me And he that speaks doth gripe the hearer's wrist; From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found Whilst he that hears makes fearful action, With many hundreds treading on his heels; With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling To whom he sung, in rude harsh-sounding rhymes,
eyes. That ere the next Ascension-day, at noon,
I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus, Your highness should deliver up your crown.
The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool, K. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news ; thou so?
Who, with his shears and measure in his hand, Peter. Foreknowing that the truth will fall i Standing on slippers (which his nimble haste out so.
Had falsely thrust upon contráry feet), K. John. Hubert, away with him; imprison liim: Told of a many thousand warlike French And on that day, at noon, whereon he says That were embattéled and ranked ia Kent. I shall yield up my crown, let him be hanged. Another lean unwashed artificer Deliver him to safety, and return,
Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death. For I must use thee.-O my gentle cousin,
K. John. Why seek'st thou to possess me with [Exit HUBERT with Peter.
these fears? Hear st thou the news abroad who are arrived ? Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death? Bast. The French, my lord; men's mouths | Thy hand hath murdered him: I had a mighty are full of it:
cause Besides, I met Lord Bigot and Lord Salisbury To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him. (With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire),
Hub. Had none, my lord! Why, did you not And others more, going to seek the grave
provoke me? Of Arthur, who, they say, is killed to-night K. John. It is the curse of kings to be attended On your suggestion.
By slaves that take their humours for a warrant K. John. Gentle kinsman, go,
To break within the bloody house of life; And thrust thyself into their companies.
And on the winking of authority I have a way to win their loves again :
To understand a law: to know the meaning Bring them before me.
Of dangerous majesty, when perchance it frowns Bust. I will seek them out.
More upon humour than advised respect.